By Sahani Lungu (Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocate)
There is compounding scientific evidence that smokers enjoy their habit because it stimulates the flow of feel good chemicals in the brain. This feel good factor becomes a blissful substitute for stress and anxiety. Smoking in a way provides smokers a sweet escape from everyday rational and emotional quagmire. This is because the chemicals in the cigarettes target the brain’s natural system of chemicals called endogenous opioid, which is responsible for relieving painful sensations and heightening positive emotions.
From the above point point, you would be tempted to rationalize smoking as a divine sensation that alleviates pain and enhances positive vibes or dare I say positive vibes. But like a throne on on a rose, the habit is deadly. It is as lethal and as addictive as opiates. The system of the brain affected by smoking in the same one that is stimulated by heroine and morphine. If you are familiar with our site, www.thrmalawi.info, by now you know that tobacco cigarettes contain nicotine and by now you know that nicotine. Nicotine alters the balance of dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain which changes the smokers mood and concentration, many smokers enjoy it. Once inhaled, nicotine rushes straight to the brain where it stimulates feelings of pleasure and reduces stress and anxiety. Because of this many smokers enjoy and become dependent on the nicotine rush.
However, it is important to mention in this article that scientific evidence shows that nicotine on its own is not harmful but the tar and other carcinogenic compounds found in burning tobacco leaves.
The price one pays due to nicotine addiction through smoking is hefty. Our entry on the harmful effects of smoking highlights that smoking leads to serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer. Aside from this, it causes irritation and burning sensation in the mouth and throat, increased salivation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. So much for a sweet sensation.
Live Science Staff (2004) Why Smokers Feel Good. Retrieved From: https//www.livescience.com/53-smokers-feel-good.html
Mishra A, Chaturvedi P & Garg A (2015) Harmful Effects of Nicotine. Indian Journal Of Medical and Paediatric Oncology: Official Journal of Indian Society of Medical and Paediatric Oncology. Mumbai. India. Wolters Kluwer-Medknow Publications
NHS (2018) Why Smoking is Addictive. Retrieved From; https//www.nhs.uk/common-heart-health-questions/lifestyle/why-is-smoking-addictive